Students represent Dixie State University on SkillsUSA’s national stage

ST. GEORGE, Utah — After recently reinstating the chapter of SkillsUSA at Dixie State University in 2016, members are already making an impact on the organization’s national level.

Chapter Vice President Madison Whitney currently serves as the SkillsUSA national college post-secondary treasurer. Both she and one of DSU’s chapter members, Kyler Kelsch, will attend the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, this month. Kelsch, who will compete at the conference, also will run for a national officer position for the upcoming academic year.

Whitney, who just finished her sophomore year majoring in media studies at Dixie State, is the first student to represent a Utah school as a national officer in the last eight years.

As a national officer, Whitney attends board meetings and helps build membership throughout college and university chapters. This past academic year, she also participated in initiatives such as advocating for career and technical education (CTE) and meeting with the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

“We spent two days training, learning how the priority points of the U.S. Department of Education align with CTE and SkillsUSA, and how to better connect with our members as we prepare for some of our largest events of the year — our state conferences,” Whitney said.

Kelsch hopes to carry on Dixie State’s influence as a national officer for the 2018-19 academic year. He will run for an at-large position, which includes president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and parliamentarian. Positions are decided after candidates are elected.

At the state competition, Kelsch won gold in the college-level screen-printing technology category and will compete in the 54th Annual National Leadership and Skills Conference from June 25 to 29. The conference will allow all state contest winners to compete in 100 different trade, technical and leadership fields. More than 16,000 students, teachers and business partners are expected to participate in the weeklong event.

SkillsUSA empowers college, high school and middle school students to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible citizens. In an effort to improve the quality of the nation’s future workforce, the organization helps develop students’ personal, workplace and technical skills.

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